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Hyperledger basics
Added: 07/21/2019 - Neeraj Benjamin

Hyperledger is one of the most popular Linux projects. It is an open source collaborative project for cross industry blockchain technologies. The Hyperledger project is to bring together independent efforts in developing protocols and standards. It is providing modular framework, that supports different components for different users. This include different blockchains with their consensus and storage models and services for identity, access control and smart contracts.

The Hyperledger project was created for blockchain applications for enterprises. The project began in 2015 with different companies interested in blockchain technology planning to work together. These companies have created open-source blockchain technology to be used by anyone.

Hyperledger project has around 250 organizations as members.

The project has a modular approach with open source platforms. It creates an environment which is easy to use. Since, it is open source, anyone can download, view and change. The total cost of ownership is less. Also, the project in interoperable, hence Hyperledger eases interaction between blockchains.

Hyperledger is a powerful technology project, but it needs to be customised according to the needs of the organization. It reduces the research burden of the organizations by creating a collaborative environment.

Basics of Hyperledger: Design Philosophy

Different blockchain projects and different organizations working on blockchain projects have different use cases. One may require fast and rapid consensus but other may require a higher security.

Hyperledger embraces full spectrum of application cases of decentralization, trust and all features and functions of the blockchain technology.

Hyperledger basics adhere to the philosophy of being modular, highly secure, interoperable, cryptocurrency agnostic and complete with API.

Modular

Hyperledger has developed modular and extensible framework with common building blocks which can be used in different applications. The modular approach helps in changing one module according to the requirement, without affecting the rest of the system. Modular approach helps developers in creating components without affecting the system.

Secure

Blockchain is known for the security. Securing the distributed ledgers requiring high value transactions and/or sensitive data is a mandatory requirement. Security and robustness is one of the key features of the Hyperledger design.

Interoperable

This is one of the key feature to make the overall system usable, able to communicate and exchange data within different networks. Thus, it has been created to be portable across different blockchain networks. This high degree of interoperability makes the adoption easier and faster.

Cryptocurrency-agnostic

Hyperledger project has been kept agnostic of all crypto currencies and tokens. Hyperledger does not plan to create any token in the future. However, it has the capability to create a token to manage digital objects such as currencies.

Complete with APIs

Hyperledger projects provide easy to use and rich APIs to support inter-operability with other systems. These APIs are supposed to support the developer ecosystem, help blockchain and distributed ledger technologies across a range of industries.

Hyperledger Tools and Utilities

Hyperledger Burrow

This provides a modular blockchain client with a permissioned smart contract interpreter developed to the specifications of the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM). Hence, we can say that it is a permissioned smart contract machine.

Burrow has a strongly deterministic smart contract focused blockchain design. The users benefit from an access layer using smart contracts and a permission layer.

Burrow includes components like: consensus engine, application blockchain interface (ABCI), smart contract application engine and gateway. Detailed information on Hyperledger Burrow is available at hyperledger.org/projects/hyperledger-burrow.

Hyperledger Fabric

This is the most popular of the Hyperledger tools. It is a platform for building distributed ledger solutions with hyperledger’s modular architecture. It delivers high level of confidentiality, flexibility, resiliency apart from the scalability of the solution. Hyperledger Fabric solutions can be adapted for any industry.

Fabric allows components to be plug-n-play. It works on a container technology to host smart contracts called "chaincode", which shall contain the rules of the system. It is designed to support various pluggable components to manage the complexity of the over-all system.

Fabric supports various consensus protocols, hence it can be tailored for different use cases and trust models. It also uses a portable notion of membership for the permissioned model. This can be integrated with industry standard identity management.

To find out more about Hyperledger Fabric, see hyperledger.org/projects/fabric.

Hyperledger Indy

Hyperledger Indy is a distributed ledger, purpose-built for decentralized identity in the framework. This provides tools, libraries, and reusable components, which can be used for creating and using independent digital identities rooted on blockchains and other distributed ledgers.

Indy identities are interoperable across administrative domains, applications. Indy is used for data verifying and cross party interactions.

Some of the features of Indy worth mentioning are: self-sovereignty, privacy and verifiable claims.

To find out more about Hyperledger Indy, see hyperledger.org/projects/hyperledger-indy.

Hyperledger Iroha

This framework is designed to incorporate enterprise infrastructure projects. Iroha joined Fabric and Sawtooth to become the third distributed ledger platform under Hyperledger in October, 2016. It was developed by Soramitsu in Japan and proposed to Hyperledger by Soramitsu, Hitachi, NTT Data, and Colu.

Key features of Iroha are: simple structure, C++ design, useful for mobile application development, chain based Byzantine Fault-Tolerant consensus algorithm.

To find out more about Hyperledger Iroha, see hyperledger.org/projects/iroha.

Hyperledger Sawtooth

Sawtooth is a modular platform for building, deploying and running distributed ledgers. This works on the "proof of elapsed time" consensus (PoET). PoET consumes much lesser resources than other types of consensus.

The Hyperledger Sawtooth modular platform can be used for building, deploying, and running distributed ledgers. Sawtooth keeps distributed ledgers, distributed and make smart contracts safe for enterprise class use.

Sawtooth features are: dynamic consensus, proof of elapsed time (PoET), compatibility with ethereum contracts, parallel transactions and private transactions execution.

Hyperledger Tools

Hyperledger Caliper

This is a blockchain benchmarking tool to measure the performance of any blockchain implementation. The user can get reports related to resource utilization, transaction latency, transactions per second.

To see more about Hyperledger Caliper, see hyperledger.org/projects/caliper.

Hyperledger Cello

Cello is a set of tools which bring on-demand deployment model to the blockchain ecosystem using automated ways to manage blockchain operations.

Hyperledger Composer

Hyperledger Composer is an open development toolset and framework to make developing blockchain applications easier.

Hyperledger Explorer

This is the dashboard for viewing information on the network, it gives information on blocks, node logs, statistics, smart contracts, and transactions.

Hyperledger Quilt

Quilt is a set of tools to offer interoperability by implementing Interledger Protocol (ILP). ILP is a payments protocol designed by Ripple Labs to transfer value across distributed and non-distributed ledgers.

Other articles that may interest you:

Demystifying Blockchain Technology

Blockchain Applications in Daily Life

Blockchain Application in Banking Industry



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